That vehicle had grown painfully silent, but certainly not within the vicious feline queen's mind, that snarled like a mountain lion whose territory had been invaded by those sentiments of love. The she-devil seemed to riot against those words of foolish love. She had thought them to be beyond that, their bond, unique and far more complex than mere labels alone. Yet he wanted that from her. Why could such a single word hold so much power she would not understand. Taking on that mated oath was enough surely, the dynamics changing drastically since then. There was far more weight to it than she had realized and yet, she hardly seemed to grasp the further complications it could present. It went beyond mere ownership, she could sense that change in him, although only half aware of it with so much unrest occurring at Syn. Those attacks upon their home, the losses were enough to cause her to explode her fury upon her subjects and the city itself. This trip was a gift concealed... even with its hitches. That break amongst that routine was a necessity. Now that very question of his own desires was a momentary lapse fueled by that peculiar request her lover requested, the first of his kind. One could only wonder if it were that shift of deeming him her mate, or perhaps having him move in, or perhaps something else entirely. Such a normal progression and how the vampire woman rejected normal all the same. Over a hundred years they had been at this elaborate balance. Yet why did it shock her when he wanted more? He had professed his love far before this, proved it in so many various ways.
Yet.... As she obsessed over that very question, those putrid thoughts churning over and over in her mind while her gaze remained distant, lost into the vivid stars like burning like silver suns. She hadn't known how long that silence befell them. Darcy was lost to the road. Or where ever his own thoughts wandered off to in that moment, Risque's fingers toying with the frayed fabric of her jeans. She trailed the mouth she had made with that blade before toying with her own skin. Her mood a dangerous place when she was... unsure. Like she was a violent beast, a storm that could have ended this very discussion by near swallowing him whole. How petty it could have been and she would not question it, neither would he. It would be dead a buried where her heart should have been. It was then that question seemed to slither out, breaking the threshold of her lips no matter of the war that took place within her mind. What was love anyways? Did it mean different things to different people? Darcy felt it. She had been avoiding it for as long as she could remember. Yet, she danced far too close to the sun with declaring Darcy as her own, publicly and privately. She had spent far too long decimating those unsavoury feelings. Her lip curled in a beautiful scowl as she peered distantly out at the window and sprawling lands... noticing the tiny houses and old winding trees. Such a simple place... with simple goals.
Yet her mind was far from simple. That question hung heavily as lead within that truck for several long moments. Darcy dared not to utter a single syllable or noise...at least at first. It was after a random thud of that vehicle driving over a groove in the road beneath them that his voice could be heard over the surrounding sound. Breaking that fragile glass, as if just to watch it shatter. His explanation a peculiar one. One she hardly expected from him.
His love of her, had always been a topic of fascination to her, perplexing as it was. But did he even know what he spoke of? Love. The constricting shackles of it felt suffocating, after all it was only a way to lay claim or rights to another? Love she was sure was a possessive thing.
She mulled over those very words, tasting them near cautiously. Which was odd, for her. How everything was so very definitive to her. But this topic alone was enough to repulse her as it did.....stoke those near dead embers. Risque's eyes narrowed in that contemplation, he never brought up his family like this. "Is that so." She mulled over that thought, her words seemed pensive in the aftertaste. His grandma sounded like a lunatic. Risque simply refused to imagine Darcy gone, after all, he hardly had a choice in the matter. He was simply not allowed to disappear. Not that he knew it. Not that he challenged it. She most certainly was not going to play this game in this very truck in the middle of the road. No... maybe she would try this madwoman's game in her own place of quiet or perhaps she simply wanted to reject it all together. Picture him gone. The very thought of it seemed to make her uncomfortable which in turn fueled her agitation at still not grasping that sham of a concept. She clenched her jaw tightly, her sharp gaze slicing to her mate, fixated upon his strong jawline that seemed to tighten much like her own. But if anything she could take from his explanation, and only one.. that seemed to resonate with in her. Love was pain. Pain at the very least she could understand.
That silence did not linger long, Darcy hardly seemed content with his answer before... searching to offer her more. Her cowboy's voice, a sound she had grown to tolerate, even like with its unique inflections and annunciations that she hardly noticed them anymore. That was when things took a turn. Somehow, love became a tree. How it got to that point... she hardly knew. Of course, she had a tree, she had many trees in France. She looked at him in utter bafflement at first. What was he droning on about? Perhaps he was just as mad as his grandmother... how did she not notice this before? She listened, falling deathly silent. Contemplating her own mates madness before it struck her. Oh... was the tree a metaphor. OR was it...So.. Love.. was eternal servitude until death and... pain. Now that made sense. Perhaps it wasn't so bad after all. How she wasn't so easily convinced that it was not some careful trick all the same. How her thoughts seemed far more confused on the matter than even more. He seemed to avoid the weight of her gaze then, focusing upon the endless road sprawling ahead into a deep abyss of shadowy black. To him, this was what love was to him. Perhaps she could construct her own meaning. Darcy could be her tree.
Despite that utter bafflement she spoke then. "I think I get it. Though... I am... not fond of apples. I prefer... pomegranates. I will accept pomegranates from you. Or better yet, stick to jewelry, you have very good taste when it comes to that." She would have preferred that gesture... he had given her as mates. Warm hearts were far better than any kind of fruits, she was sure of it. What a confusing story about sacrifice. She could hardly see the veiled meaning behind it. Risque growing silent once, warping it into a meaning of her own making. She seemed to turn her gaze to far more simpler things like the view outside, a rabbit scurrying across the road quickly in hopes not to be hit only to be narrowly missed by that racing truck.
That drive was.. near insufferable. Risque's theories and hunger intermingling to muddy the waters of her mind.
They drove up that elongated, narrow drive into the dark entrance of his ranch. It was decidedly a simple layout. Everything could be seen by one adept sweep of her studious gaze after sliding outside that vehicle, the climb to the floor was much like a carriage. Risque not quite sure what she was to expect but it surely was not this. Certainly, there had to be more. Darcy's mood seemed just as precarious of her own and yet she was hardly content with a mere perusal. She had not dressed in this costume without purpose. How she despised wasted time. At the very least, the ranch seemed orderly and clean, barely. But it was... lacking.. The sound of the outhouse door seemed to garner their attention, opening but 6inches before slamming. It almost sounded eerie as the vast desolation that surrounded them. Risque had remembered how differently things were then, but Darcy's way of living... she eyed that lonely small building that looked like it could blow over by the wind despite its construction withstood the sands of time quite well. Log cabins were timeless but Risque thought it might as well have been made with glue and popsicle sticks. She had no desire to investigate this outhouse, the very notion seemed to make her feel dirty even considering it. Had they not heard of a bath.. that water filled and heated by dutiful servants? The river was made for swimming, not for washing. How vile and unpleasant that seemed. Didn't he know how filthy that water was? How barbaric this farm living! She could not help that look of sheer horror as she glanced from that outhouse to him. Risque... never quite knew what it meant to struggle a day in her life. She was always a woman of means, even from the moment she needed to earn that money on her own. Even against all those odds against women in her time and beyond, she hardly let that stop her. The midnight haired she-devil took what she wanted, conquered, paved her own way even if it went against those social norms, even if she had to burn it all down to the ground and rebuild to make it as she wanted. To live this life for as long as Darcy did. To be trapped here, to make a mundane living here.. she could never imagine. Having status and money was... everything in a world full of judgement and her cowboy knew none of it. Until he met her.
That house.... Looked.. a far safer bet, steering away from that outhouse. No. Definitely not that. This cabin hardly seemed to fair much better. That entire home only a fraction a size of her own bedroom. Even her servants quarters was bigger. Hell, even his room before they shared one was five times this, she was sure, if not bigger. Surely there had to be more. Despite being... refreshed, the floors still complained beneath their weight, only adding to its datedness. There was certainly a lot of wood.... raw unfinished materials. The furniture looked even sadder, they could not even be burdened to lay down a carpet or curtains! She said very little as she examined that space with that severe scrutiny, the ruins in which he had come from. How quick it would be to reduce this home to splinters and trample it to dust with barely a half effort, simply because it represented a time that might as well have not existed.. a time before her. She could sense that tension that came from him, hardly allowing it bother her. Perhaps he might be the one to trash it.
The fire already heating up that intimate space. That question of servants seemed to baffle him, her pale hypnotic gaze fell heavily upon him then. It was soon followed by a scowl found her features as he explained his family's sad existence, how careful he had been to keep such humbling roots from her. In her world, there were always people for all he described. Always servants to milk the cows, to make the bed, the clean her, to stoke the flames to keep the fire awake and alive. She hadn't to think of any of it. There was always food, ample and both exotic and full of flavor. Darcy was the servant then, the invisible. But never to her, whether it was from his own methodical doing or simply the way he was innately she would never know. Now... he only served one master.... And in turn became one himself in most regards. She have given him the means to garner.. money, power, anything a man could possibly desire. Including... herself in some respects. Well, as much as Risque could ever be obtained. The woman could not be bottled, or contained by any means. She could hardly help that rogue emotion that assaulted her then. Being enveloped in this building, his life, imagining her mate in these putrid conditions... seemed to not sit well with her in the slightest. How vastly different worlds they had come from, worlds apart.
Pity.... What an alien emotion for her. Yet she could not deny its presence, could not help the way she looked upon him then. Any other person and she would hardly bat an eyelash their way. She was used to people beneath her. He explained his life, his own world before her.. as a human. The lowest... point of his existence. That question how one survives this.. was met with a near lifeless response, nothing short of cold and apthetic. Her gaze followed his gestured hand that led out into darkness. She stepped smoothly toward that sullied glass, tinged from age... made it near blurry peer through. But those headstones were clear, a pitiful little grave filled with what was once his people. They were buried and in some measures.. respected. Her own parents.. were hardly afforded the same respect. They hardly earned it, in fact she was the very person who cast them to it. After all, they had turned their backs upon her, turned a blind eye to their dying daughter. That's the love she had ever known, every last one of those vile people. Taking control, rewriting that dialog, now that was something... then. Her lip curled as she viewed those headstones jutting out that cold ground, lifeless as the people that were buried beneath them.
His words laced with rage... began to burn hotter than the fire itself. How he could have been an inferno and burn this place to the ground with that very rage. How in that moment he looked divine in that split moment, that fire dancing upon his chiseled jaw in sinister delight. She could see him then in that raw unrefined ruthless brilliance that had drawn her to him in the first place. She had no sympathy for that unchosen family, just as she did not for her own. At least in this she could understand that hatred, could relate it, which was far more than she could say for anyone else on this cursed earth. She gave one final look to that darkness before turning toward her mate. She sipped the air along with the chaos that crackled within in like a fine wine that could have fed her. Her voice is low, sultry and forbidding all at once. "Family... did not get you to where you are now.. Family did little for me either. They are cancer. Like..... vines that will suffocate anything... until nothing else can grow. It is better to cut those weeds and ties, you did as I did. You chose your own path. Not everyone is meant to run with giants." Let them burn in the flames... while she danced within them.
There was something dark and foreboding flickering upon her features then, looking like the devil herself, her eyes turned downward as if giving the illusion that they darkened, turning away from the light. The light gave her anything. It was within the shadows she flourished. "There is a reason why they are nothing but dead, cold bones in the ground and you are not.." She added almost cryptically, as if there was more to say as her gaze then shifted toward those dancing hellish flames. The roar of the fire crackling and hissing from trapped moisture those flames overcame... She could see ancient faces in those flames, burning. Envision their faces screaming as they suffered all over again. She drew closer to those flames. A silence filling that cozy space, speaking of that caretaker. She felt the heat against her cold, porcelain flesh. Her eyes mirroring the flickering inferno.
A memory, so distant and rare as it was tarnished and buried amongst the dirt, almost like the bones of his past bloomed to life within that fireplace. She had her own long since buried past too, lost in the labyrinth wastelands of her mind. Barren... and forsaken like they deserved to. If only they could have been obliterated entirely. It was not a prominent memory, no. But still it was something she never dared to speak of. She toyed idly with her belt, her finger tapping upon that hilt in distant thought. It was not her, no, not anymore. Yet it brushed upon her mind like yesterday.
Even gods needed to rise from something. She was sure. That growl, quiet before she told that skeleton tale, disembodied from even her. It lacked emotion, dislocated like she was. How her home had been encroached upon and she hardly understood. Hardly cared. But she should have. If anything her father had taught her, it was a ruthlessness and following through with a threat. That ability to execute and not balk away.
That question, uttered from Darcy snapped her out of that distant reverie. What?
"I should have let him writhe from the filth he came from." She snapped suddenly like a snap of merciless whip. What did she think then? Could she even remember what ran through her head as a naive child? Perhaps... Or perhaps she was better to dwell on what she thought as an even more foolish woman, in life. "I was a foolish child. I would feed that same bread to the ducks and the pigs. I thought this vagrant was no different.... What I had yet to learn.... Was that the bread was better off given to farmyard swine than a man that fell so low to beg... and take when he had not earned it." Those final words punctuated then. How, those words weren't even honest then. She couldn't bare to admit the fact that she had wanted to help that pitiful man. That she would have given him more if she had the means to, even as a child.
They were soon met with an untimely interruption, the foot falls thudding heavily up those steps just outside. His old human stench assaulted her the moment the front door swung open to admit the aged human. The wind rushing in from outside caused the fire to waver, both vampires anticipating the man before he even stepped foot into that cabin. Predatory as they turned to face him. Risque's gaze honed upon what she could only confirm to be that caretaker, his eyes befell upon Darcy with a recognition, aiming a flashlight at the two vampires. He smelled... unimpressive. Hardly worthy to even play with in his frailty. Recognition flashed upon him the moment he took in the sight of Darcy, as her mate was quick to shut him down. He hardly seemed prepared by that, as the oblivious man was reduced to fidget with the glasses upon his nose. It hardly deterred the caretaker as he closed the door behind him, moving further into that room, closer to the vampires that already inhabited that space.
He could hardly be bothered to pick up his damn feet, the laziness nettling upon the feline queen's nerve. Her eyes narrowing soon after. He had no idea whose company he kept. Any kind of laxness, turned into predatory fixation, like he were nothing but an irritating pest. Like a little mouse wandering into a house full of unfed cats. Worse, the man gave into a spiel. A trained song and dance he had done hundreds of times before, how content he was to drone on, not even bothering to ask their names. She was sure he could have spoken them in his sleep. It was like an old horse trudging down the same trail it had travelled down day after day... it knew that routine.. that even his... "interesting" sounded precontrived. Van Dellan, that name Clay used. His own heartbeat plodded on with the same monotony of his speech.
It was when that calling, Young Lady.... Her gaze moved away from her mate only to slice toward that old frail man. What. Did. He. Just. Call. Her? She was over 12 times his age. Her lip peeled back a mere twitch but it was a warning all the same, that fang flashing went unnoticed upon those faulty cataracts riddled eyes. She made no move to reach for those documents, her arms folding over her chest, inquiring if she knew those tales. "I am not from around here, of course I haven't heard them." Those words were uttered bluntly, if that lingering French lilt was not enough of a give away, or the talons that tapped near impatiently upon her arm he was truly already upon death's door. Such blood would be useless to reinvigorate her. He paused only to take a quivering breath as though his body shook with effort, walking further into that home, to the bedroom she had not yet examined.
Risque, slid passed Darcy, purposely brushing passed him in silent communication. How his features seemed to rest in the perfect scowl, that south seemed to leave that permanent bad taste in his mouth.
Risque's gaze looking over that room, equally small and cramped like the rest of that decrepit place. She waited for that photocopy of that journey to be offered to her, she unfolded her slender arms enough to grab it from him. The caretaker soon offering that paper to Darcy himself, the action humorous if only for whom he attempted to educate. That story, she paid enough attention to hear of her lover then, who stood painfully quiet in that seething rage. It was a surprise he had even gotten as far as he did before he snapped, cutting off those word uttered by that old man. That outburst was unexpected and how it amused her as he unleashed what he had held back.
Risque saw her mate then, fury and passion. It would seem... someone still... felt a thing or two with his oppressed past. It was a wonder why he hadn't ended his father himself. Now that would have been a story worth telling. Nonetheless, that story of himself was so much better from his own lips. "Do you not know whose presence you are in yet old fool?" Now like a cat with a string of yarn she crept closer then, getting into his own space so that she nearly touched him. "Go on... seeing as you seem to know so much more than the man himself." Risque then avoided the note upon that bed that said do not sit, lowering her body down upon that creaking mattress resting a leg over the other, each hand placed to frame her. For a moment she examined those boots briefly, it was quite clear on her stance of rules that were not her own. She rose a brow as if daring him to tell her not to, that fang flashed with added effect. "Impress us.. and maybe... he will let you live out the rest of your life in this same sad existence talking about a man far greater than you will ever be." Dance, monkey dance. Not even the old were exempt it would seem. "So tell me this.. Was that on your... learning sheet too?" She lifted her hand off the stiff bed to wave it loosely in the air, Daring her lover on as if loading a hair trigger gun, ready to shoot. "What stopped you from killing your incompetent father, Darcy?"